RAWsome Mind: Put On Your Mask First

Put on your oxygen mask first. That's what the airlines tell you.... before you help others you must take care of yourself first. 

I am drowning in a deep sea of shoulds, musts, and needs. They pile upon me like a great avalanche, quickly covering me with an icy weight. I feel my body ache, my mind strain for substance and my spirit cry out for action. I struggle to catch my breath as soon as I wake up. Overwhelmed by the never ending to do list filling my brain. Days seem to roll into one another without even the briefest of hellos or the faintest goodbyes. Sunrise to sundown life seems to simultaneously flash by and take forever. 

I miss the slowness of lazy summer days. To feel the joy of not knowing what to do in a day, and the spontaneity of grabbing a book and dashing to the beach or mountains for cool air to accompany the stories in my hand. These days were beautiful, and yet I could not see their value. I was in such a rush to move on an show the world what I was made of! Oh the curse of youth... to not see what is right in front of us. 

My self-care has trickled into nothingness. My yoga mat has gathered dust, the bathtub is empty, and I haven't a thing to wear. I gaze into the mirror and do not recognize the person starting back at me. Who is this woman with tired eyes, disheveled hair, and pale skin? Her body has stretched and posture shifted. Where has her peanut butter tan gone, and vibrance for life? The girl who walked out of the house half naked...her only care was wondering how to pay for gas for the next adventure. 

This cannot go on. 

I have to put my mask on before I can help anyone else. I must begin the real work- not dishes, laundry, making dinner, or even my business... now begins the rediscovery of SELF. 
This happens many times in life. Sometimes caused by life's grand events (children, love, loss, travel) other times brought on with the simplest of words. Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I take care of myself AND those around me? (Continued in comments)

 I forgot to do the work. To ask the tough questions. My attention was shifted to keeping a child who bursts my heart open with love, alive. I focused on cleaning, feeding, milk production, brain development, and forgot myself in the process. 

Today I begin. I AM ENOUGH. I AM DOING ENOUGH. Sitting in meditation as my daughter clings to my breast I am finding my new normal. I release the life of my past, not with sadness or envy, but with love and admiration. Today I choose to make space for who I am by releasing who I was. Today I put my mask on first.